Stretch to the Sun: From a Tiny Sprout to the Tallest Tree on Earth (Hardcover)
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In this children's picture book, discover the tallest tree on earth! It is located in Redwood National Park in northern California and is more than twelve hundred years old and about 380 feet tall—and still climbing!
A children's book about how a once tiny seedling, deep in the forest of Redwood National Park, that was protected by the animals and plants that surrounded it, stretched toward the sun to become the tallest known tree on earth. It survived ecological and human threats and flourished for over 1200 years. Logging in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries depleted the coastal redwood population significantly. But the creation of Redwood National Park in 1968 helped to save some of the ancient trees, like this one. The tree was discovered by tall tree scientists in 2006, but in the hopes to keep the tree safe, its exact location is kept secret.
Susan Swan’s eye-catching illustrations are made of found objects and hand-painted papers bringing a natural depth and texture to the story.
Peppered with impressive facts about trees and extensive backmatter, Pearson proves that every tree has a story to tell.
About the Author
Carrie Pearson is a former early elementary teacher and the author of A Warm Winter Tail and A Cool Summer Tail. She hikes, bikes, runs, skis, windsurfs, kayaks, and swims--and writes about what she experiences. Carrie lives in Marquette, Michigan, with her husband and their three daughters.
Susan Swan holds an MFA from Florida State University. She works primarily in digital cut-paper collage, and when not creating pictures, she makes jewelry. She illustrated Out on the Prairie by Donna M. Bateman and Volcano Rising by Elizabeth Rusch. She lives in Ovilla, Texas with her husband. www.susanswan.com
Readers follow the progress of a tiny sprout as it grows to be one of the tallest redwood trees ever discovered. Lyrical and gentle text, with a bit of understated repetition, sets the scene; this work begs to be read aloud. Swan’s collage-style artwork is appropriately dominated by a gorgeous spectrum of greens and browns. Many small animals and other details are hiding in the illustrations for children to discover. The story is experienced almost entirely from the tree’s perspective, and the tree is not concerned with human names or dates (the more fact-centric text is reserved for the “Facts About Coast Redwoods” back matter, a helpful guide for young kids and adults alike). In the only narrative leap away from the tree, “the president of the United States…signs a law protecting ancient trees.” In the back matter, sentences from the main story are revisited and explained. Here kids learn about the Gold Rush, the Save the Redwoods League, frenzied logging activity, the creation of Redwood National Park, and its expansion signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. VERDICT Visually appealing and enjoyable to read aloud, this book is a versatile introduction to redwood trees and forest conservation.
—School Library Journal